According to my dad, a sandwich isn't complete until it has a pickle spear by its side. My rule of thumb? A pickle isn't a pickle unless it's homemade. The stuff you get in stores is usually so packed with salt, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives that you completely lose the beauty of a good pickle: crisp, tart from the vinegar, and tasting faintly of the cucumber that it came from. Between me and my dad's pickle philosophies, you've got yourself a perfect recipe to enjoy this summer.
Best of all, making your own pickles is super easy--it takes only 20 minutes! I like to use fresh pickling cucumbers (the small cucumbers that look like pickles) from my local farmers' market, but any cucumber will do. You can pickle them whole, slice them into spears (which I do for my dad), or slice them into little medallions like you do to quick-pickle some veggies. Just keep in mind that the bigger the cucumber, the longer it needs to soak in your brine to get pickled--about one week to ten days for whole pickles, to two hours for quick pickle slices. Of course the longer any of them soak in the brine, the tastier they are!
6-8 small pickling cucumbers
2 cloves garlic
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons dill seed
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt
You'll need two mason jars for canning. Place one peeled whole garlic clove in each jar. Slice the cucumbers how you want them (or keep them whole). For this recipe, I did one jar of spears and one jar of medallions. Place cucumbers in jars.
Place vinegar, water, salt, and spices in a saucepan and heat on medium until boiling. Remove from heat and let cool for ten minutes. Then, while brine is not completely cooled, pour mixture over cucumbers in jar and allow to cool completely before storing them in the fridge. Serve alongside (or in) sandwiches or even as a quick salad topper. Keep for up to two weeks in the fridge (although mine never last that long). Enjoy!
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